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Sick and tired of diets that only work while you follow them? Diets that tell you to give up certain foods and food groups? Move over Paleo diet, step aside wheat belly diet…a lifestyle diet of no-guilt fabulous food and healthy living has boots on the ground and is here to stay.
How do blood orange infused olive oil and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar sound to you? I purchased both of these recently and mix them together with a salad of mixed greens, fresh strawberries, walnuts, reduced fat feta cheese and a banana. This salad is fresh, delicious and part of a Mediterranean diet.
I’m not sure what draws me in more…the freshness, the flavors or that the food and lifestyle are so good for you. Numerous studies back up the benefits.
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events.
These Mediterranean foods are not only good for the heart and blood pressure, but they can help you lose some weight! Think of the Mediterranean diet like this…if entire countries are eating this way because they want to …it must be good.
* Don’t miss this How Big is Your BUT? No Excuses Quick Tip: canned black beans work beautifully in this Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad. Rinse the beans first to reduce the sodium content. *
To eat the Mediterranean way, include these foods in your diet:
1. Generous amounts of fruits and vegetables…especially tomatoes. Tomatoes include lycopene, a potent antioxidant, and vitamin C. Think fresh sliced tomatoes topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.
2. Healthier fats, such as olive oil or avocado. Yes, real avocado. The fat is mainly monounsaturated, which is the more heart healthy type.
3. Spices such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, red peppers and cinnamon are great choices.
4. Red wine has a high level of antioxidants as found in the blue/purple/red grapes. One glass of red wine has similar antioxidant activity as two glasses of tea. If you’re not a wine drink, purple grape juice is a fairly good substitute.
5. Beans and nuts are a great source of fiber and protein.
6. Eat fish on a regular basis. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are heart healthy and contains those all so important Omega 3’s.
7. Cheese and yogurt. Serve cheese with fruit such as dates or orange slices or yogurt with walnuts stirred in.
This isn’t so tough…is it? Okay, I’m sure many of you are saying “where’s the bread…where’s the pasta?” Don’t worry. The Mediterranean diet includes your carb fix. Just think healthier carbs, which are higher in fiber and whole grains.
Want more info? Listen to this week’s podcast below